Posted by Joe S. on December 31, 1999 at 00:46:57:
In Reply to: Deal of the Millenium posted by Steve Lamb on December 30, 1999 at 02:48:54:
My York-made Eb sousa ("Pioneer"), which I recently converted to a helicon because it sounds so good and plays so well in tune, is an instrument that I purchased at a flea market in 1979 for $40. I played a happy hour dixie job on it six nights a week for two years without fixing anything on it. Taking those last two 90 degree elbows out of the bell in the helicon conversion actually fixed its only pitch problem, which was the typical Eb tuba flat 2nd partial. It is SO much fun to play because of its "fat" sound and butter-smooth slurs and glissandos.
The big 1960 6/4 "York model" Holton that I cut down from a 3-valve BBb to a five valve CC was purchased at a pawn shop for $75, after I indicated that the $150 asking price was far too much to pay for a curiosity that would set in the corner of a gameroom with dryed flowers coming out of the bell. Right after I bought it, I played a two-week Broadway show ("Annie") stint on it, still in BBb with 3 valves. When I heard the sound that it made inside our old Orpheum circuit theatre, I knew that I had to make it into a professional symphonic tuba.
No tubas under $5, but still some bargains that I am thankful for.